Movie Review: Legends of Oz Dorothy’s Return
Is it time for a trip back to Oz? In Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return We find Dorothy takes just after her return to Kansas. Dorothy finds her town demolished by the tornado and many of the residents moving away. A very shady man from the government condemns the farm and other properties. Back in Oz the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man are trying to use a rainbow transporter to get Dorothy back to help as the flying monkeys are storming the wizard’s chambers. There is a lot going on in the initial setup.
Legends of Oz has lots of really good voice talent. Lea Michele as Dorothy and yes she sings, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer and James Belushi as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion respectfully. Bernadette Peters as Glinda, and when Dorothy returns her new companions are an overweight owl voiced by Oliver Platt, Megan Hilty as a vain and arrogant China Princess, Hugh Dancy as Marshal Mallow a general and Patrick Stewart as Tugg, the oldest talking tree in the forest.
Martin Short plays the Jester, the villain of the film and the Wicked Witch’s younger brother. She put a spell on him as a child to be her personal servant and jester, he can never remove his outfit and until she was killed by Dorothy he had no choice but to serve her. He has found a way to amplify his own magic using an orb and her broom which its implied was the source of all her magic. He has kidnapped various important leaders from around Oz and transformed them into soul-less marionettes. He now had the flying monkeys at his command and is slowly taking over Oz. Since time in Oz passes slower, Emerald City is in a state of disrepair, there are new parts Dorothy hasn’t visited yet that she explores this time around. It an effort to keep you interested the slew of new characters are introduced but the plot isn’t that much different.
What Legends of Oz has going for it is its voice cast. They are all recognizable and well used. This was something I found very lacking in Planes which buried much of its voice cast. If you aren’t sure the opening credits explain exact who’s voicing who. The story on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired. Its dull in parts, it can’t decide if it wants to be dark or not, and the story never really finds its legs. There’s some mild jokes like the reference to the Great Wall of China when they get to China Town, but a lot like the over emphasis when they are with the completely vapid China Princess makes you wonder how soon they are going to move forward.
While there isn’t much for children to see in theaters right now Legends of Oz tries to blend the characters of Oz the Great and Powerful with the music of Frozen but doesn’t pull it off. If your kids aren’t asking about this film feel free to skip it.
My Rating: Redbox
Worth the upcharge: Yes
Directors: Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre
Studio: Summertime Entertainment
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Run time: 88 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG